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Sharing My Coming Out Journey: My First Public Speaking Experience

Last Monday at our screening of Everything Everywhere All at Once, I spoke publicly for the first time about the loss of my mother, and my coming out story. It was a truly cathartic experience, and once I got past the nerves, I enjoyed it very much. I feel honored to have this platform to share my story. Here is what I said:

The first time I saw EEAAO, I was with Andy in the mountains. The movie was a lot to take in. But in contrast to the spectacle of absurdity, the main storyline was about a relationship between a mother and her queer child.

My mother, Joyce Randall, was half Chinese, so I found a lot to relate to in the relationship between Evelyn and Joy. The ‘stiff upper lip’ vibe was something my mother definitely inherited from her mom. But regardless of that, she was determined to accept me as-is from day one. 

In fact, she told me she knew I was gay since I was three. I think many moms do, whether they admit it or not. I was very lucky to have such a loving and supportive environment. It made coming out that much easier. 

My mom passed away seven years ago. So movies like this always tug at my heart in a different way. Throughout her life, my mom was a staunch supporter of our community. She wrote about the topic often, and after my friend was killed in the Pulse Massacre, she even had a letter published to an international audience expressing the importance of familial support for queer children.

So I want to honor her today by reading some of her words on the topic. Here goes:

“When you first came out to me, I remember telling you;

  1. Give me time to take it all in, I am new at this.

  2. I believe in God. In the bible, God frowns on homosexuality, but as far as I’m concerned, I am going to accept you for who you are. 

  3. Don’t flaunt it.

She went on to say: In general, homosexuality is looked upon with intense disdain, contempt, scorn, degradation, evil, intolerance, hatred, disgust, loathing, disapproval, and abhorrence, and in fact, there are even some who physically feel sickened with nausea when they hear the word homosexual.

Some others get vexed, annoyed, irritated, disappointed. 

Rejection by family, friends, and relatives is a painfully familiar occurrence.

When discussing homosexuality, it’s surprising how prejudging moralistic folks have plenty to say on the subject, without having walked in a homosexual’s shoes.

It makes me wonder how many skeletons these same moralistic folks hide in their inner closets!!

The most important focus on my part is not to be judgmental or even ‘Play God’.

Who am I anyway, to judge?

Ignorance, misunderstanding, misconception, and misleading go hand in hand with prejudicial discrimination.

The world would be a better place if people understood, accepted, and practiced every day that every human has his or her inalienable right and privilege to be who they are; much the same as my old fashioned philosophy ‘The beginning of love, is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.’

All biased folks should examine their most inner secretive fears before they point their unclean fingers at gay folks.”

In closing, she said: I have lived with you, and I have grown comfortable with sharing your griefs, fears, happiness, glories, turmoils, joys, terrors, etc etc

I am going to miss seeing you, hearing your voice, laugh, whining, and smile. I am especially going to miss your exceptional calm.

Always believe in yourself and hear me tell you:

Where you’re at today is exactly where you’re supposed to be. You have everything you need to be there. You are where you belong. You are making your dream a reality.

You may feel alone but you are not. You are tremendously alive in perfect balance and concert with those around you. 

And all is well: as it should be.



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